Tatar, Butterfield winner at the Calder Cup, got off one SOG against the lowly Rangers.
And he's probably been on of our better players of late. Point being, shot counts don't tell the whole tale. Another example: Franzen had, what, seven? But was he especially visible? Was he seven times the contributor Tatar was? Y'see what I'm saying? (Not trying to be condescending or anything, it's just that it's extremely early in the morning here and I'm not sure anything I'm saying makes a lick of sense.) ("A lick of sense"? Is that even a thing?)
As for the topic - IMHO, it's just who they are. But that's kind of a truism cop-out. So:
- They're sorta old-fashioned, probably a bit more conservative than progressive in the way they think about and do things. They believe in The Red Wing Way, and all it entails and encompasses (have to earn your place, work yourself up the totem pole; have to conduct yourself in an ultra-mature way - on and off the ice; defensive ability is a must for forwards, etc.) They like familiarity. They generally prefer the devil they know over the one they don't. They believe in loyalty. And so on and so forth.
- The Detroit Red Wings = arguably the most successful sports franchise of the past twenty years. The veteran love has been a big part of our success since the mid-90s, so why - they ask - overhaul the overwhelmingly winning formula, even if times have changed (and, for the record, times have changed)? Over-ripening FTW, they say.
- They can afford to play lots of old guys. Some of that's to do with our puck-possession system, wherein age isn't as big as it is in a more aggressive dump-and-chase system. Some of it's to do with the Red Wings Way, and the fact that everyone buys in. Some of it's probably to do with stuff I can't think of right now because, again, it's early. This is all in contrast to teams which very seriously rely on youth to carry them. We're getting there (see: our blue line). But I think as long as Holland and Babcock are in charge, we'll have a largely veteran lineup. Because it's who they are.